Yokohama Mayor Fumiko Hayashi apologized to a 13-year-old boy for the municipal government's failure to act swiftly when he was bullied in elementary school for being a nuclear evacuee from Fukushima Prefecture.

The mayor said Wednesday that she vowed to the boy, now in junior high school, and to his mother to more seriously tackle bullying.

After his case surfaced last November, a slew of similar incidents in other parts of the country came to light, prompting the central government to request that schools with evacuees from Fukushima, the center of the 2011 nuclear disaster, check to see whether they had been discriminated against.